Photos from the little birthday celebration we held for Ashton.
Happy late birthday to sweet Ashton! We may not have been with you in person, but we were with you at heart.
Happy birthday to our Owens sweetheart!
She's the spitting image of me.
A photo of Ashton and her two cousins: they're all practically identical.
No donations as of late, but we're still keeping our fingers crossed. My little girl gets more and more beautiful by the day.
It's been a while, but we're still trying!
Only $10 more until we reach $100! When we finally hit triple digits, our fundraiser will finally be available to view when using the search bar on the gofundme site. That means that our signal boost will grow even more and we'll inevitably be able to draw in more donations, which is fantastic. :)
An enormous thank you to Katie Waugh for our latest donation of $20! Thank you so much for believing in our cause - No child deserves to grow up without an amazing Dad in their life, especially when that Dad really wants to be there for them. I know that Derick will be spoiling and loving her from day one. Thank you for helping us take another step toward that. :)
A newer picture of Ashton for you guys. She's getting older by the day - Help us raise the money so Derick can see his beautiful little girl before it's too late.
Thank you so much to Lauren Broadstreet, who donated $10 today. Your donation is very appreciated, and after the dry spell we've been having in the past week or so, it's given us a bit of hope. Thank you so, so much, sweetheart. :)
Even if you can only donate $1, your donation will be appreciated. Every cent helps. :)
Thank you very much, Samantha, for your donation! :) You've helped us get one step closer to our goal, and for that, we cannot thank you enough.
Not to mention the resemblance between cousins, born 5 months apart.
You can't deny the resemblance. They're practically twins!
This is a photo of Derick with his niece, who is almost the same age as his daughter. He absolutely adores her. If you donate, you're giving him a chance to hold and love his own child. So, please, share this page to Facebook and keep us in your thoughts. ♥
A very large and gracious thank you to the first donation of $50! You've helped us take the very first step toward meeting Ashton. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.
Anything that you can donate will help make my Derick so, so happy. He's been through a lot, and he deserves to see his beautiful little Ashton.
Please, it will only take a moment of your time to help us finally become a family.
My name is Derick Owens. I'm a 23-year old man with a beautiful two year old daughter named Ashton Novalee of whom I've never met. Most men where I'm from turn and run when their girlfriend finds out she's pregnant, but that's not me. I want to be in Ashton's life more than I've ever wanted anything - She was planned by both her mother and I, I've loved her from conception, and I've never stopped loving her. Her mother, however, has alienated me completely by blocking me from all contact and installing a new man as her daddy. This man also signed her birth certificate. Ashton is my world and I've not even met her yet - I can't possibly imagine how wrapped around her finger she'll have me when I do. I just want that chance - That's why I made this fundraiser. I want the ability to be the Daddy that I planned to be to her when she was conceived.
For a look at the longer version of the story, read the lengthy description below:
My name is Derick - I'm a 23-year old college student. I currently have a steady job as a tutor at my college and a wonderful relationship with my long-term girlfriend. The one thing that I don't have is the ability to see my now two year old daughter, Ashton.
Mid-2010, I found myself with a well-paying job and a girlfriend of whom I wished to begin a family with. My daughter wasn't an accident "“ She was planned, adored upon discovery, and highly anticipated. I remember attending an appointment with the mother of my child, where we were shocked to be told of the blood clot, a subchorionic hematoma, that had formed inside of her. We were devastated "“ I remember crying and praying to God that nothing would interrupt the pregnancy, and that this baby would come into the world, safe and sound. My prayer was heard, and the blood clot disappeared. We were thrilled, excited, anxious, to name a few emotions.
Shortly after, my girlfriend at the time split up with me, despite the fact that she was 3-months pregnant with our child. I honestly am not sure what triggered the sudden change in her behavior - day by day, she began to resent me. I worked full-time and cared for her young daughter on days I was off, but it was never enough for her. She told me that she hated everything about me. I spent months trying to repair whatever I had done wrong, going through break up after break up, getting back together, and then repeating the process no less than five times. She finally ended our relationship and blocked me from all forms of contact with her.
Soon after we broke up, I lost the well-paying job that I had. She also worked with the same company, higher up the ladder, and to this day I believe she had a hand in my termination. I was depending on that full-time job (paying $11 an hour) to support myself and my endeavors to see and support my baby girl. I tried to contact my daughter's mother on numerous occasions post-break up. After countless attempts, I realized that trying to contact her was futile and decided to focus on what I needed to do to make sure I was in my child's life. While we were together, I went to every single doctor's appointment that she had scheduled. After the breakup, however, I was never asked to attend the appointments. I thought maybe her pregnancy hormones were just affecting her and that she would change her mind towards the end of the pregnancy and allow me to be a parent for our child's sake. That never happened.
During those six months, I decided to go back to college to earn a degree in Computer Science. Since I started college, all of my money is being drained that I am able to earn from working. I've tried so hard in college; I have made the president's list thrice and the dean's list twice out of five semesters so far. I was also named a commencement marshal for my school and have earned the respect of many instructors at my college. All this is of course an effort to someday support and secure a future for Ashton.
Inevitably, the day came when Ashton was born "“ I found out 9 days later through my grandmother, who reads the local newspaper often. I was shocked that her mother hadn't contacted me to tell me that our child had been born (I still had the same phone number). I was even more shocked to find out that another man, her boyfriend of 4-months, had signed the birth certificate and my daughter had taken his last name. I then realized that it was going to be a long time before I would be able to be involved in my daughter's life.
Since the mother of my child and I had been living together at the time of the break up, I was forced to relocate. I had to start from scratch "“ I had nothing. I had a car that I could no longer pay for, a minimum wage job, and no stable home to bring my daughter into. I've had to rebuild my life. Now I'm ready to bring Ashton into it, but it's taken such a long time. Ashton just recently celebrated her first birthday, of which I was able to see pictures of through my current girlfriend's Facebook (My ex, of course, has me blocked). I've never seen my daughter's face in person. I've never been able to hold her or tell her how much I love her. I didn't get to wish her happy birthday. I didn't get to see her dive face-first into her first birthday cake. These are all things that a willing, decent father should have the chance to experience.
I'm not someone who asks for hand-outs. In fact, I hate doing this more than I have ever hated anything. My desire to see my daughter overwhelms that of my pride, though. I want nothing more than to see Ashton and be a father to her.
There's a huge problem with that though; the other man's name is on the birth certificate. Not only will I have to get a DNA test , but I will also have to go to court for joint-custody (which I am adamant about pursuing). These are the reasons why this page has been created. I don't want any more time to go by without being able to be a part of her life. I am currently saving every penny that I don't put toward my car, my insurance, and my living expenses, but it just isn't adding up to be enough. Please, help me meet my daughter for the first time "“ any amount that you donate will be extremely appreciated and you would have my thousand thanks for eternity for helping me meet my baby girl.
Any additional information can be found by contacting my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/derick.owens.5?fref=ts